Saturday, September 27, 2014

Op Session #2

Our second ops session is in the books. The two Tims ("Sr"/TimHar47 & "Jr"/Model Railcast Show) again handled the Pavonia / Millvile/Penns Grove yard (Brown tower).

"Sr." aligning turnouts
"Jr": Ooooh, we just missed it by that much!
Following a couple of commuter runs (RDCs & a Geep with two P70 coaches), they handled both a coal & a merchandise transfer from Philadelphia, made up the Millville local and sent it to Bob (Ntrainz1 in Red Oak tower) so he could switch Westville & Woodbury.

The Millville local entering Westville.
Dropping a load of sand at Buzby Bros. cement facility.
Picking up 3 reefers from the south Woodbury icing facility
...and leaving one to be iced.
Since "Jr" took a lot of aggravation (Conrail98) from his yard duty last op session, he wanted me to display this picture of the empty Pavonia yard.:

What he did not want me to tell you was that two trains were stacked up waiting to get into the yard!:

Anyway we had a great time together and raised the laugh quotient at least 10%!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Things That Should Be Illegal To Give Rick!

There are certain things that should be illegal to place into my hands. A soldering iron/pencil is one of them. (Believe me, I'm much safer with a gun!)

Since I have another operating session coming up this Saturday and we experienced a couple of electrical continuity issues in the yard ladders during the last op session, brilliant me decided to solder many of the electrical joints and rail joiners. That was probably a mistake!

Even though I attempted to heat from the inside of the rail and solder the outside I ended up with multiple blobs on the inside track surface. Hours later of filing I still needed to do something about the shininess.

Since Woodland Scenics' brown paint pen won't cover metal, I started by painting with some of the black blob acrylic paint I use on my river surfaces. When that dried, I then covered it with the brown paint pen. When that dried I  then scraped the rail surface and tested everything.

With the exception of electrical issues with some of the Peco points (a problem that will continually require tweaking) everything now runs. My only concern is one turnout where the heat loosened the frog rail joint. I am really good at trading one problem for another!

The op session should be interesting!

Solder Blobs:

Black Gook:

Tie Brown:

Cleaned & Ready To Go:

Saturday, August 30, 2014

J. B. Van Sciver Co.

J.B. Van Sciver was another of Camden's signature industries in the 1950s. Although it did not have its own private siding (it does now!), I wanted to include it in my Camden area. Their building had distinctive turrets and its name plastered along the top of its walls to make sure the area knew who to buy their furniture from.

I also added 3 staging tracks to hold the Philly transfer runs. This should alleviate blockages in the Pavonia yard. Now the switchers can pull the inbound cars, load the returns block and ship the transfer runs back into staging. Then everything will be cleared to prep the locals and the express freights. (At least that the theory - we will see later in the month.)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Camden Industrial

Two of Camden's (NJ) most famous industries are now clearly delineated on my railroad. The operating crews will now have no excuses for not delivering freight cars to the proper sidings.

My daughter printed the Campbell Soup wrapper for the water tower. Miller Engineering provided the animated RCA Victor sign and I got the Campbell Soup box van off eBay

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Long Train

An S Scale craftsman modeler on the Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines Historical Society forum sent pictures of running a 73 car train. So naturally, I was curious how long a train I could run. Out came the freight cars!

Although I have a 3 scale mile mainline run, almost half of it has 2 - 2.2% grades (it is still basically a flat southern New Jersey railroad) so I could only try to move the long train on the flat portion of my layout. Two 180 degree 19" radius turns and some S curves complicated matters.

My four PRSL GP38s were able to pull 90 freight cars (28' long) through the flatlands the first time. They did some spinning and managed to polish both their wheels and the rail.

After manually helping the train over the grades, I tried to run a second loop but was only able to move 85 cars the second time (polished rails/wheels?).

I then tested to see how many cars the engines could move up the steep portion unassisted. Results:
     4 Atlas GP38s: 38 cars
     3 Atlas GP38s: 28 cars
     2 Atlas GP38s: 18 cars
     1 Atlas GP38s:   8 cars  ???

Now who is going to help me put all those freight cars away?

Friday, August 8, 2014

A Little of This, a Little of That

After dawdling for quite a while, I finally finished the Model Tech Studios coal conveyor for the Barry Bros. coal yard. The parts are too small (and too breakable) for my aging fingers but I finally got it done and painted. The conveyor is probably a bit too large for the coal yard (but I remember the prototype having one and it was a needed touch).

I also spent some time putting Woodland Scenic's clump foliage along the wall side of Westville and North Woodbury. It does a simple, but solid, job of camouflaging the shelf edges and giving a sense of distance.

The Micro Machines tank is a placeholder for when I find a small WWI or early WWII field artillery piece,  with shield. There was a VFW at this corner with the artillery piece in the yard.

I also managed to complete the coupler / pilot conversion on my Erie RS3. The Erie RS3's didn't arrive on the PRSL scene until the Conrail days had begun and were hated by the engine crews. One caught fire once and the engine crew hopped off. Someone nearby offered to call the fire department but the engine crew told them to wait a couple of minutes so the engine could be cooked a little more and not be able to be returned to service!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Camden Industrial Area.

I plan to include former Camden manufacturing  powers: Campbell Soup, RCA Victor Corp, and Van Sciber Furniture. To help ID the buildings I just installed a Miller Engineering animated RCA Victor sign. The Miller Engineering sign could use some more length to the power supply wires (currently powered by a AA battery-pack that will need to be replaced with a plug in 4.5 volt source)

Next I need to get the Campbell water tower to have the familiar Campbell Soup logo (see: )
I need to find a printed color image to wrap the Campbell Soup's building water tower. Any day now I should be receiving a Campbell Soup box truck with the logo.

That leaves the 3rd building to be Van Sciber by default. (Unless I can find a parapet! See: ) Van Sciber did not have its own private siding but it was a very visible Camden landmark company in the 1950s.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Visits from the Pennsylvanians

Received a short visit from "Blazeman" (Larry) and his friends Bob & Alden. We ran the return trip of WY80, the  Tank Sweeper (collects cars from the Sunoco and Texaco refineries) from Paulsboro to Camden and WY841, the Camden to Penns Grove local.

WY80 only had to collect 3 cars from the South Woodbury yard (left after the Texaco pickups by WY79). So it returned home quickly.

Meanwhile WY841 was launched from Camden. It started with only 6 cars. (It will have 14 cars by the time it reaches Penns Grove and Deepwater.) Bob and Alden did the drops and pick ups in Westville and North Woodbury but had to leave before completing the South Woodbury yard work. So I completed that.

I am now left to break down 2 trains, run WY840 from Penns Grove back to Camden and do the Camden yard switching. At this rate it will be about 6 weeks to finish the first day's schedule!

Dropping off a reefer for icing:

Picking up 2 box cars:

Reassembling the train:

Snaking through crossovers and getting out of town: